I KNOW I’M PISSING IN THE WIND, BUT…

The Anglican Communion has spent an inordinate amount of time and effort over the years trying to fit in with the Roman Catholic liturgy and calendar. They have been so successful at this that the last pope had to change his denomination's liturgy so that nobody would confuse his "one true church" with the hoi polloi of protestantism.

My whinge for the day is this. If Anglicans are so intent on synchronising our worship with other denominations why are we so unsynchronised among our own provinces when it comes to saints days and other liturgical celebrations. Okay, we all do Christmas and Easter at the same time and there are many minor feasts that are local to, and celebrated by, specific provinces alone. But, we are not so in step with each other with the b and c list saints that most or all of the provinces acknowledge.

For example, today, in The Episcopal Church of the U.S.A. they are celebrating the feast day of Gregory the Great. But the rest of Western Christendom, with the exception of some American Lutherans, don't celebrate the interfering pontiff of great renown until the third of September.

When the Americas were a good ten days away by boat, or even eight odd hours by plane, this caused no real problems. But we now live in an instantly connected world and our failure to synch is a pain in the arse. For a start it makes it difficult for Anglicans from different lands to pray daily together. It also makes the writing of liturgical resources for the whole Communion problematic.

So, come on, Anglican liturgists. Here is your chance to get a load more free holidays (sorry, I meant, important meetings) in exotic, warm places. Get our corporate act together. Lets have one calendar of saints and, while you are at it, you could produce a list of every provinces' local saints so that we can all get to know each other better and worship together as one.

Comments

I KNOW I’M PISSING IN THE WIND, BUT… — 14 Comments

  1. Only an Anglican could understand let alone make that joke!

    On the topic, I agree that we could benefit from a common calendar, and frankly not care if it is synchronized (or synchronised) with Rome. The migration towards an ever more Romanized (Romanised) calendar for the CoE and for the communion in general is a symptom not a feature.

    In a sense we progressives are the communion’s conservatives, seeking to commend the open and diverse community against would be RC red hats and unsmiling Calvinists!

    • Although I don’t care whose calendar we synchronise with, I think the more denominations that do synchronise the better. On the Internet there is a growing body of believers who are worshipping together and/or discussing religious stuff together, without worrying about who belongs where. A common calendar would enhance this experience.

    • Well, this post is primarily about Anglicanism. But there are many, mostly pre-reformation, saints who are revered by most denominations that revere saints.

  2. I’ve become more and more convinced we ought to drop the whole thing. We used to use feast days to learn about saints, now we use it to ignore them.

  3. TEC had to move Gregory the Great’s feast day to make room to add everyone who was a chaplain in WWII to “Holy Joes and Holy Janes.”